NJ high school student dead, another hospitalized after shooting at field

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Monday, June 7, 2021
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A community is in mourning Monday after a New Jersey high school student was killed and another injured in a shooting Sunday night.

MAPLEWOOD, New Jersey (WABC) -- A community is in mourning Monday after a New Jersey high school student was killed and another injured in a shooting Sunday night.

It happened just after 9:30 p.m. at Underhill Field on Garfield Place in Maplewood, and both victims are Columbia High School students.

Moussa Fofana, 18, of Maplewood, was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:24 p.m.

A second male victim was treated at an area hospital for a non-life-threatening gunshot wound.

According to Principal Frank Sanchez, Fofana was an 11th grade student. The second student remains hospitalized.

Fofana was looking forward to his second year as a varsity high school soccer player.

Friends said he was driven to succeed.

"He was one of the hardest working persons I know, I'll wake up in the morning sometimes and I'd have a Snap Chat or video from him and it would be from last night at like 10 p.m. and he'd be at the soccer field in the middle of winter at 10 with just a flashlight on training, it was just his dream to go pro and I feel like he had the talent and the work ethic to do it," friend Joshua Billec said.

Billec said his whole goal was to make the varsity team and when he did, he couldn't get the smile off his face for the rest of the month.

"And then when he scored his first varsity goal, you would not stop hearing about it for the next two months," Billec said.

Friends said Fofana took good care of his mother and his brother and they made him a better young man.

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"As Columbia High School parents and members of our community, Marie and I are absolutely heartbroken," Maplewood Mayor Frank McGehee said. "Our prayers go out to Moussa's family, friends, teammates, classmates, the entire CHS community, our Maplewood-South Orange community and everyone impacted by this senseless and devastating loss due to gun violence. We are also keeping the other student who was injured in our thoughts. While there are still so many unanswered questions, we ask that everyone respect both family's privacy at this very difficult time."

Columbia High School has brought in grief counselors, and Superintendent Dr. Ronald Taylor sent the following letter to families.

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No arrests have been made at this time, and the investigation is active and ongoing.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Essex County Prosecutor's Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force at 1-877-TIPS-4EC or 1-877-847-7432.

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